Thursday, December 29, 2011

That's What I'm Talking About.....

It's a Wednesday, In December, Nearly 80 degrees and I am riding my bike with the girls..... Oh and did I tell you it was Amy's birthday!

 So we did the best ride ever....Great Western Loop!  It was Amy's first time- really, how can that be!  But it was....we rolled out at 9 and it was already vest, no socks, just arm warmers! 
 And we rode clockwise and let the climbing was all chatter and enjoying the magnificent weather!   Just for fun, we added on 12 miles and went to Descanso and with the warm weather we actually needed more fluids.
We like Skyline Truck Trail for the descents but due to a fire we were forced to ride by Lyons Valley- really beautiful but I am convince more climbing.  As I was apologizing for more hills to Julia, she smiled and said, better to climb than ride through flames....see it's all about perspective.

Post ride.... Trader Joes Brownie mix made with Pumpkin instead of oil and added some 70% cocoa chips.... delicious (if I do say so) Birthday Brownies!  See Amy loves them too.....

Sensational day.... good ride, great weather, best company and treats at the end!  And I had a free Starbucks coupon-  oh yea - iced skinny peppermint mocha with an extra shot!   Life.....IS GRAND!

And the riding continues.... more riding tomorrow, Saturday and back in East County to kick of the New Year!  Lots of base miles.... nothing hard, nothing crazy, just logging time in the saddle with great friends (who are all off work)  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Upgrade or downgrade.....

Going from a 1999 Infiniti QX4 with 150,000 miles to a 2007 Audi A3 6 speed performance car was definitely an upgrade.....

Old crappy car

new (to me) really fast, fun car...summer 2009!~

Love the car, love the car..... but well in October.....enter Mako
(cutest pup ever)

What does new dog have to do with car......well the Audi is not meant for dogs in the back- bucket leather seats and Zen cannot even hang his head out the window.  Zen lives for car rides....and used to hop in all the time with me- for the last 18 months maybe 1 or 2 times he comes and slides around the car, not loving it-  So you are saying - its a dog!  But I love my dog(s) and I want them in the car, going to the beach etc....and the Audi is tough- add 2 kids and forget it-  the hatchback is not right for the dogs.....

So bye, bye Audi (sniff)  Oh and the amazing 6 speed fast car- is not exactly fuel efficient.  So I drove and drove and drove suitable options....1- JD goes to college next year so we are looking to decrease expenses not increase- so I stayed away from the high $$ options- Lets face it -
-  I want a car the dogs can be in and out of and I really don't care
- car cannot be  total dog as in 0-60 in 30 minutes
- needs some basic amenities- blue tooth, power stuff, iPod adapter- yes all this can be done aftermarket but it is REALLY expensive (trust me I know and usually it sucks)

So....drum roll please........ my new ride!  (4000 miles old that is)
with the idropboys plates and an mDot sticker- she will be ready to roll!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Holidays, training and life

I have fallen off the blogging wagon..when that happens I cannot get back on. So much is happening that I don't know where to start....

Training- back at it and it feels good.... still consuming the cookies and eggnog- BUT am logging a lot of miles on the bike and some on the run to the lbs are no longer compiling on my body.

Yes these are my Granny's sugar cookies and I LOVE them....really the only cookie I will indulge on,  Well the molasses cookies were good this year- confession, I took a zip lock bag of them on my last ride.  Hey carbs, sugar and fat - all good right!!!

Last week was about logging base miles on the bike, Christmas Shopping (online), baking cookies with kids, going to dog beach and NOT working.

Lucky for me JD was working each day and Riley slept in, so I could ride my bike and still get all the pre- Christmas fun in.   I rode with John one day, with Beth (now a pro-triathlete), James ( kick our ass) and Noko one day.... let's just say Beth no longer needs to hang on my wheel....she was waiting for us on every climb! Impressive!   Another ride with Jen, while Riley babysat Anika and then a few days of trail running and an awesome Christmas Eve ride with friends.    Good week.....logged some good miles and none of them were crazy hard to the volume was able to creep up with out me being smashed. Since I am not running with a Garmin and all is in hilly trails.... no stellar stats there.  By Christmas I was tired but not dead!  Perfect week and time for 2 days of eating and drinking

Christmas Eve at Mom's with Champagne and Crab....

Belgian Waffles Christmas Day!
Followed by presents and fun....

Oops wrong partner
and then a great trail run with the dogs and then Christmas Dinner!  If you saw Julie and Julia or you own Julia Child's cookbook you know of the infamous Beef Bourguignon - a mater piece and a labor of love...well Kathi took on the recipe for Christmas dinner and it was truly one of the best tasting entree ever- wonderful food, wonderful family and friends....really so very thankful!
Dad wants these with prescription

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another trip to Vegas......

I much prefer my Vegas trips to include, whether it be training with the girls or a race.  The past 4 days was all about work.... Yes we had some fun, but meetings from 9-6 and then evening events until 10-11 or later is way out of my comfort zone.... 1st I had to figure out 6 outfits that do not include spandex or running gear- yes 6- 3 days and 3 nights.... I had 6 pairs of shoes- really? 1- zoot running shoes 2- Merrill comfy shoes 3- 3 pairs of boots (1 brown and 2 black -1 flat and 1 heels and 6- dress shoes.  I could have done the bring 2 pairs and wear them with everything but I work at home, travel little for work and rarely dress in real clothes- so since I was recently shopping with Riley and have new clothes, shoes etc- why not schlep them to Vegas and wear them all.

Yes I had to check my bag for a 4 trip...yes I brought a lot, but I wore everything and the only thing I wore twice were my running shorts that I washed out.  So I was dressed well for each evening event and snappy for the daytime meetings.  My feet, however, are KILLING me.  New boots x 2 and heels + standing on my feet for 8+ hours a day are as damaging to feet as Ironman.   I still have 4 black toenails- 2 from Kona and 2 from the fateful weight dropping on my foot.   In any case, I survived....

I am totally wiped out.  I ran every day for an hour!! Bonus.....was in bed by 11 and one night up until 12:00. Now that is late, really late for me, but for this group, I was a total wimp. There were many up until 3 or 4am and even 2 today who never went to sleep.....seriously- cannot fathom not sleeping unless it was some kind of 24 hour race.   I took heat for " ducking out" when really 11pm is really, really late for me- see I prefer to be in bed by 9, okay 8:00 if I can swing it.  So when the reception starts at 7:30 I know I am in trouble....

But it was all good- mostly because it is December and it is the off season- so a few drinks and too much food is pretty much par for the course...but I tell you - 1 week and all this craziness is ending.   Yup,....7lbs folks- that is the current weight gain since Kona and my jeans are no longer comfortable.  I knew it was a few lbs...but 7 is close to 10 and that is the limit.   I could even by at 10 after 3 days in Vegas...but I am NOT going to find out.    What I am going to do is keep running, ride more and get back in the pool.  Drastic food cut back is not necessary, yet, I am going to increase training first.

And Mako......yes he too is gaining weight every day- but he is growing too! Seems he grew inches in a few days..... all is good!!   7:45 and I am off to bed and out to ride GWL tomorrow.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fitness where are you?

Off season is good, let your body fully recover, lose fitness to get stronger, gain a bit of weight..... ok I have done all that and it is just not FUN!   It's great to read about all the successful athletes who do it and come back stronger...but when you are the one who has gained 5lbs (maybe more - no longer checking), power is down, legs are sore from a 3hour ride, running cadence is somewhere around 80 and pace is's not fun.  Maybe mid January when my bike shorts fit and I am nailing my power numbers I will be on my soap box preaching about the importance of a solid break at the end of the season or maybe when I PR at O'side at the ripe ol age of 45 I can profess the value of losing fitness and gaining weight only to get stronger....but for now-  I am not feeling it! 

The good news is.....most of my friends are in the same boat - not necessarily the "i need bigger bike shorts" but in the same fitness situation. As we suffered our way around GWL on Wednesday Noko was complaining as much as I- although she is doing things like temp runs and intervals and I am trying to run about the neighborhood.  

My schedule from coach as been "do as you like" choice because if I saw a scheduled with X swims, bikes, runs...I'm pretty sure I would not do it- just because.   Although I uploaded my last 4 workouts to TP and then emailed coach with my plans for the next few days (all the while winging about my sore legs and that I need some ART on my IT Bands) and he let me know....time to ease up!   Honestly I knew that was the case.....others wise I would have suffered on riding and running hard and forcing fitness too soon.   2 day off.... and still walking up the stairs winds me.  It would be a great time to swim, yes swim....but the f'ing pool heater is broken and then temp is 72 and the air temp is 40 so that is not going to happen....yippee another excuse NOT to swim.  And yes that is only pool in all of San Diego!

Going to ride tomorrow with the that is part of my fun- I don't have a social life so gossip and chatting on the bike is critical to my sanity.  Luckily most of the group is not killing it right now and if they are well- wait for me sister I will be coming along shortly. 

And Sunday I am off to Vegas..... company meeting and with a company like mine that means late nights and all day meetings - little time for fitness.  Recovery I guess....

Friday, December 2, 2011

GU Peanut Butter.....

Peanut Butter ranks as one of my all time favorites....I love spoonfuls of crunchy all natural peanut butter right out of the jar!  I love soft peanut butter cookies. PB cliff bars, powerbars, balance bars you name it....and now GU comes out with PB GU.  Rachel had a pack on Wed and I was uber jealous as she enjoyed it at the top of our biggest climb....I was determined to score a taste. I was able to score a packet and it was every bit as good as I hoped..... This is the best GU has done!  I am already thinking of a gel flask and mixing PB and Chocolate!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Picky Vizsla....

We have been lab people for 10 + years and labs eat everything and anything all the time...Food hounds- constantly seeing out food, turning couch upside down for a crumb that dropped off a cookies, finishing dishes of any food left about, counter surfing (okay maybe that is bad training), raiding neighbors cat food in garage (back to the training issue), inhaling 2 cups of food in 10 seconds...okay you get the message here.  I can tiptoe into the kitchen and stealthily open the cupboard but if a minute squeak erupts Zen will come thundering from upstairs seeking a handout.  I can open the almond butter jar without a noise (that I hear) and he emerges for anyplace in the house.

That is Zen and was Rocky and how most labs roll. Enter Mako....the finicky ( I dislike that work but it fits) Vizsla... $40 bag organic, no grain, duck and sweet potato puppy food- place a dish in front of him and he sniffs and promptly lays down.  I know for all of you who are going say #1 he is a dog he will get over it #2 if he is hungry enough he will eat it and to both of those points yes you are correct.  But he is our adoring puppy with his ribs poking out and as a good mama I want him to eat. He prefers hot dogs (yes really- we have not bought hot dogs really ever - but his trainer suggested them and he LOVES them), cheese (any kind but Tillamuck seems to be his favorite), cooked chicken and yams and pumpkin pie. Our dog trainer uses food and it hard to reward a dog when you give him the liver treat and he turns his nose away.  So we resort to hot dogs, peanut butter and we have more dog treats... refused liver treats, forget milk bones or any similar treat, nixed Charlie bears...but what he loves- dried duck, chicken wrapped sweet potatoes, salmon chummie yummies (which are worse smelling than the Bully sticks) ... I love the fact he is not a food hound but the discerning taste is expensive and frustrating... when he is whining and hungry. You say let him whine....okay it is 6:30 am and I am up with the dogs, John is trying to sleep after a late night. I put Makos food down and he sniffs and runs full tilt up the stairs to John ( I can hear him complaining about the food I presented him with)  I run up with a duck treat in hand to coaxhim back down....really who is the boss here?    I put his food back down and he is pondering the idea of lowering himself to eat dog kibble and Zen walks by and with one inhale cleans the dish- Mako is now jumping up and down throwing a fit as if Zen took his raw steak.  

He seems to prefer to work for his food...doing tricks and the like.  So I can usually fill his belly with assorted morsels with lots of sitting, down, touch, and other training exercises, but not today. He protested on the walk, cut it in bolted towards home signaling he was not eager to keep playing at the park. However upon returning home he goes crazy ruining and jumping and eager to play- go figure....I planned to work on training and after 3 or 4 he walked away  - signaling not interested..... Vizsla's maybe eager to please....but they have a mind of their own and can be stubborn as well.  Love the pup for his individuality!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

IMAZ, Puppies, Toes, ImmuCell, food.....

Girls night at the Ritz Carlton Laguna....reception, room service and a movie in bed1
Blogging is like training if you do it all the time it is much easier.... when you wait too long it gets hard!  Why? you cannot blog it all and then I find myself pondering what I should write vs what I feel like writing.  Plus is is really fun to blog on about massive training...the rest can be boring, although training blogs are boring to I am going with random thoughts here.

I forced begged Riley to sit on his lap

I had zero interest, not an inkling or flash of envy of those racing Ironman Arizona..that is until Sunday mid day as I was following so many good friends who were absolutely crushing it out there.  Then of course I wished I was really fit, racing and crushing turn I am NOT fit, swam 45 minutes, drank a Peppermint Mocha and ate a Gingerbread cookie the size of my face...and followed a long.  So impressed with Mimi (AG record - after doing Vegas 70.3, Kona, ITU Long Distance) and then PR'd set a record and went 10:22!  I am humbled..... I am envious of those who are set for Kona 2012, even if I am not sure I want to do Kona in 2012....

I rode 3 hours on Saturday with Christine and Kebby....2 girls that I have know, we have talked about riding together but never made it happy.  Lucky for me...they too are not fit in the off season.  We kept the ride social and chatty....things got quite as we hit Ramona and it was 45 degrees and raining.  In season I suck it up and tell myself that I am building strength, what if it rains on race day when I am riding for fun- this is not so fun.  But the good news was....after we descended Highland Valley it warmed up!  The last climb towards Peet's was hard for all of us....I use to run up that hill about the same speed.  I know, let it go, let it go......

On occasion I get contacted from random companies who ask me to blog about their product...... I generally say no unless I am going to try it and then I tell them I will do so and be honest.  After my horrific post and picture of my mangled foot I received and email from NeoCell suggesting I try Collagen Type 2.  I was a bit perplexed as it seems the product is mostly for joints....but after reading more it says it " Assists in the maintenance and rebuilding of cartilage bones, joints and surrounding tissue"... sold!  They offered to send me some and suggested it will help speed up healing in my foot.   The problem is I don't really know...but I can say- Dr said 5-6 weeks before I would feel like running.  I am at 4 weeks and have been taking this for 2 weeks and I am able to run!  Maybe I am a fast healer, maybe this is a miracle pill or maybe it is a bit of both.... I like what the marketing says and certainly the ingredients are ones recommended to me anyway- hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin. So I will keep taking it and see.... so far so good and company is great.  
Time to start using my shoes again!

Yes I am running..... my toes are okay the rest of me feels like I have not run in months....really 4 weeks and I can hardly run 30 minutes AND I am sore.  Ugh....taking a break is good, taking a break is good!   I am soooo excited to be running that I am trying not to think about how horrible I feel.

Mako....have to have a puppy update!  He is big..... triple his size, triple the energy and a whole ton of fun!   John and I are back in bed together and Mako is sleeping upstairs now.   He is time consuming and exhausting...but a welcome addition to the family.
Yes Zen has accepted his little brother.... happy dogs!

Food.....I was going to clean up my diet in November....but am thinking December. I fell off the gluen free wagon and have caved in big time...cookies, tortillas, carbs- and at the worst time when I am not burning them off.  But jeans still fit...but they are indeed snug- so maybe post Thanksgiving I will clean up the diet before the Holidays really hit or maybe  I will keep going and once my jeans don't button will deal with it then.

Thanksgiving,....Johns Birthday too!  Hoping to ride GWL, go for a run and then enjoy the day with family....although Riley is not here- she is in Baltimore with a good friend from the Tole More1 Riley has a monster suitcase..... she heeded the cold weather warning- 49.5lbs....she can only buy 1/2 lb of goods while she is gone.  Miss you R!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Puppies recover faster than humans....

Mako woke up around 5am ready to rock and roll....leaping and bounding and his offering his whole body waggle.   He seems to have forgotten the trauma of yesterday.  I was so worried he someone blamed me but the morning greeting assured me he still loves me.  The porker, now 11 lbs-  that is a 6.5 lb weight gain in 3 weeks, was hungry.  We are doing a lot of training with him so he gets a lot of his food that way- working for his food. Sarah, our dog trainer, believes a dog should never have a bowl to eat from- they need to earn their food- training, tricks etc-   As for Zen he now has food puzzles-   this is his favorite   - he has to drag it around and the food comes out. We have to do this outside or the floor becomes a slobbery,slippery mess.  Keeps him very entertained and working for his food! 

Here is the other option - he rolls it around and the kibbles fall out.  He particularly likes this one when he can get Mako to roll the ball and he eats the kibbles- I guess that is call "management."

Veterans for the kids!  And that means puppy care for me- yeah.   After an invigorating early AM with the dogs I left a sleeping puppy and headed to pick up Liz and out to Great Western Loop we headed.

Wow... I have been riding some since Kona but not climbing much.    I know it's the off season, we were riding and chatting not doing any intervals nor had power goals..but I did glance at the Garmin as we passed the Bee Keeper and gulp....really 1:44?  Um usually we are around 1:30 when we are working pretty hard, 1:35 when a bit more chatty....1:44- the problem is not so much the time, but the PE.... did not feel like 1:44.  Well the conversation was good...thank you Liz!  And a bit of a relief in that my Garmin was not programmed to auto stop- so we had the porta pottie stop and all the traffic lights (that don't exist- but sounds good anyway)  No worries.... good reminder why NOT to have a computer. 

It was a beautiful but not cold, started cloudy and cleared to sweeping views of  the valley.  With the rain last weekend the hills are greening up....truly my favorite time of year to ride!!!  And if I am lucky I will get to do it again on Sunday!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mama Bear....

My baby was attacked today and it was horrific..... we headed out the park around 2:30 to have a little play time.  Mako was loping along behind Zen and I was hoping for some more brotherly play.  They did their usual checking out of the park and then I threw rope/ball and off they went....Zen ran right by and another dog swooped it up.  Kona took of with the Kong and Mako was on his heels running and playing.  He dropped the Kong and I threw it again and Kona again took off with Mako on his heels.  Soon Kona lays down with the ball and Mako is stalking him and now the owner says " my dog is sometimes not good with puppies or small dogs" The low level panic starts in me and now Mako is in the Kona's face and I don't want to run and grab him for fear of sudden movements startling a dog.

Well before I knew it Kona had Mako pinned and was aggressively biting him....It was sheer horror, Mako was screaming and crying and Kona was tearing at him and snarling....Luckily his "owner" was able to get him off fast and I picked up a crying and trembling Mako.  He was crying and shaking so hard and I just ran with him.   We got home and he cried and hid under the couch.  He was whimpering and hiding.... I finally put a blanket under the couch and he curled up on it. 

A few minutes later he woke up yelping and off to the Vet we went.  Luckily nothing broken, no stitches, a few punctures and a nasty cut on his head.   We came home and he hid under the couch and slept....I laid on the floor with my hand out and he hardly sniffed...I began to think he was somehow associating me with the attack.

Eventually he went into a sound sleep ....John came home a few hours later and was able to get him to drink some water and soon he was creeping out and ravenous for chicken. We were able to get his meds in him and he went out and pottied....crashed out again and his precious head is swelling and bloody. 

So sad.......I have never seen the dog in our park nor the owner...I did not get her information- the Vet said I should make her pay the bill.  Right now I just want my happy waggy tailed puppy back....hopefully a good night sleep and he will have his swagger back.  For now....he is hurting and his mama is too...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gym Rat

I have become a gym rat....sort of like returning to the scene of a crime or for me the accident.  Get back on the bike after you fall off or in my case, pick up the weights and rack them on the race vs on my foot. 

The other reason I am at the gym is I can do the Elliptical with broken toes...good fast cardio!   So in sticking to my off season....I am swimming one day a week- max 45 minutes, not running (but only because my toes are broken) and riding 2x a week.  But I need some cardio or I go nuts.....early AM works best as I have puppy care.  Mako is up to 2 hours alone now- yeehaw!!! But see I have to work as well so I cannot use all that time for training.  

Mako is up by 5:30 and now with the time change we can go out walking by 6....although I have to carry him this first 10 minutes because it is cold...and then he is good to go and we are up to 1.5 miles.  He still has loads of energy and I drop him upstairs with the kids and head to the gym,  So I get in cardio and then lift.   Know I know why I don't lift a lot when I am training makes me really, really sore....I keep thinking I did a monster workout and then realize it was the 3 sets of squats which make me as sore as a hard 80 mile ride.  Whatever.....  I am doing it!!!

The gym is not nearly as social as riding and running with my friends...but it it feels good!  Tomorrow I meet coach at the gym to get a serious routine.  Maybe I'll get ripped in the off season.

What else is new....Zen is finally playing with Mako!  So fun....they rolled and played for nearly an hour and now.....both are passed out snoring! perfect!!

What else.....taking care of the rest of my life!   dentist, doctor...all the things that are ignored when I am training hard.  Working...yes doing a lot of that as well.   Sleeping- not so much.....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

On the bike again....

Friday I decided to take off my race wheels from Kona, de-rust the chain, clean off the scum and get my TT bike ready to ride.  I really wish I would have dumped a gallon of water on the bike....smelly!   I ended up getting it ready but when I rolled out Saturday I chose my road bike.  The bike feels like IM Training and I am not ready to go there...the road bike, even though it has a power meter, it just different. No expectations and no worries.

I did a test ride in Wed with C and my toes held up well!  So Saturday I rolled out with the girls and it was great. We rode 3:15 ish and it was a loop I used to do all the time....but it has been a while so it was great.  Climbing up Scripps Poway Parkway reminded me I have really not ridden in a month.... yes fitness does go away when you don't do much.  

The day was poured rain Friday, huge rain cleaned up the roads and cleared the air. It was a chilly 49 when we rolled out so I had to dig out arm warmers (no coolers today), leg warmers, socks ( I never wear socks) and my vest.  No scull cap or full finger gloves, come on the sun was coming out.... the day was chilly and so clear it was wonderful.   Kristin, Liz and I were out for socializing and riding while Amy had  bit of work to do.  I happily let her go on her intervals.... no need to be uncomfortable right now. 

I was feeling ambitious, and since it is the weekend and Mako has puppy care, I headed to the gym for a strength session. Worked hard and did NOT drop any weights.   I really want to build some strength this off season.  Funny thing is my legs were a bit tired from the ride and I had to lower my weight on the squats.   Finished up thoroughly sore and came home and promptly took a nap.  Hard to believe 6 weeks ago I could bang out a 5+ hour ride, T run and be good to go..... Losing fitness is GOOD and will be valuable next year but it is hard....I am committed to keep losing it however!

So the toes are less ugly, bruising is fading and the pain is pretty much gone unless anything lands on them or I try to push off them.  Going to be a while before I am running but I am happy to be riding a bit and that is fine for now...Coach mentioned I could do a lot of swimming...I noted or NOT.  

Puppy training, dinner with my Dad and K, dinner on Saturday at friends and the weekend is complete...Riley has lacrosse tryouts and JD is finishing up his community service volunteering a Race for a Cure. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Broken toes, dog is doubling in size, kids are someplace...

My life it upside down these days...I have shown up to Riley's game 1 hour early, sent my mom to her game 1 day early, arrived at the wrong location for a game.... what the heck?  This is why women should not have a baby at 45.  Yea, yea, yea.... Mako is a dog and babies are 100% more work...I know been there done that, BUT, going from a 15 and 17yo and Ironman training to a puppy is a major adjustment.  Getting used to interrupted sleep, only being able to leave the house for 60-90 minutes at at time, planning my day when he is asleep vs in aggro playing mode.... Really though he is so much fun!  How can you not fall in love with this puppy!  He sleeps 4 hours at a time at our up and down is less. we still have a futon downstairs, as we figure better for one of us sleep. So we take turns with Mako.  Every other night I get a solid 8  hours and the alternate nights not so much...John is a good co-parent and JD even takes a turn on the weekend!

Training...well not really but I was running pretty regularly to keep Zen from ballooning out due to eating all of Mako's food.  My plan was run every day,  not a lot, not too hard but build fitness.  And the plan was to get strong in the gym.  I avoid the gym but know I need it so in the off season I committed.  It has been a long 1 I was excited, snuck in a 2nd run on the TM and I was off on my routine. I needed the 30lb bar for bicep curls and it was being hoarded, bitch lady at the gym would not share.  So I used the 20 lb bar and that was too easy so I went for the 40lb bar and that was too heavy- I'm feeling a bit like Goldilocks now but being the impatient soul I am I went for the 40lb bar and did my set and it was pretty much to failure.  As I was racking the bar, my arms are shaking and jumping and I SHOULD have put the bar down but I struggled to rack it and did not quite make it.  Bar slammed down, bounced and landed on my foot....

You know the term white lightening....yeah that was pretty much the effect.   That and being sucker punched hard in the stomach.  It was so painful I don't really remember leaving the gym...thankfully I got all my gear and got home.  I arrived home took 4 Advil and opened a beer... JD was here and blankly staring at me.  Delicately pulled off my shoe and watched it swell and turn colors....within a few hours it became apparent I needed a medical opinion. JD dutifully drove me to urgent care and after 2 hours the XRay tech proclaimed nothing broken so we left, no need to wait another 2 hours for the Dr.  Well 7ish am my cell rings and the ER Dr chastises me for leaving without being seen by a Dr and that I do in fact have 2 broken toes- crushed at the tips actually.   She practically orders me to come back and be seen. I politely ask what they will do for my predicament... basically nothing.  Okay so you want me to drive 30 min the UCSD in AM traffic, wait for who knows how long (again) to be told I have 2 broken toes for which you can do nothing?  Right...on my way.  Not so much.  So now I am thankful it is only my toes and the tips... so they will heal fast (hopefully).  No running as it seems one really needs the toes to push off, although I could become a major heel stryker and see how that works out?..... for now, no running.  After 1 week I am able to ride!!! Good news....hitting the road with my girlies this weekend.  I supose I can swim and just use 1 foot on flip turns- but no sense if messing up my groove..okay really another excuse NOT to swim!

So there you have it.....when people ask me why I was a swimmer?   This is not the first of my ever so stupid accidents.... 1 year ago to date was this incident, the year prior I broke my pinkie playing with the dog  and so there you have it.  End of October is bad timing for me and accidents...I can even go back to pre-triatlon days and I was training for the NY Marathon and broke my pinkie last weekend in October while playing at the park with my husband...okay well a friendly competition in who could do the log roll the longest-  I fell rolled over my pinky and snap....  So there you have it..... I am not coordinated and the fall is when I am at my worst.  Lucky for me that is the off season...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mako, mako, mako......Chick Magnet!

If any single guy out there is wondering how to kick up his social life..... get a puppy!   Any place I go with Mako I attract throngs of females.   No exaggerations.... girls flock to him and all go "ooooohhhhhhh"   and then ask if they can pet him, hold him etc.   It is quite amusing....

Before you rush out and get a puppy.....consider you will not sleep more than 3 hours at a time, you have to keep the house really clean (even though the puppy will trash it), you have to be home with him 100% of the time (at least for now), and he costs a lot of money....

Now for the pros's...he is by far the cutest pup ever (okay maybe we are a bit partial), he is smart- 7 days and he is nearly housebroken- no newspapers, no pads....just a lot of watching and as soon as he "looks like" he has to go we scoop him up and run him outside.  We did this about every 30 minutes....but it worked!   We have to keep the doors open- thankfully we live in SD and it is not winter yet, but we will have a dog door soon.   He is more fun than imaginable...snugly, wild, crazy, and in love with Zen.

  Here Zen is very tolerant....not always. Mako would love to curl up with Zen all the time but Zen is not too keen on that.    We have these giant pillow beds for Zen and well seems Mako has claimed them.

All Mako has to do it approach the bed and Zen runs sad he is already the Alpha dog.   We are hoping as Zen gets bigger he will "appreciate" Mako and begin to have fun with him.  Time will tell.

In the meantime...trying to sleep, trying to work and trying not to play with Mako all day :)

Ironman- what's that....Oceanside is a long ways away. Pretty sure this off season thing is really going to stick this time.   Between lack of sleep and not being able to leave the house...makes it tough to do much!

Although..... I have ridden a few times with my girlies....good fun on the road bike and no gages.  Few early runs with Zen and 1 swim.  Not a total slug but close....and the diet (not as in trying to lose weight) but what I am consuming... probably too much beer and candy corns- but well I am making up for lost time!

Hate to make this a dog training blog,...but I am spending more time training Mako than I am me.  Next up- leash training, how to sit, better manners (flying leaps with stick in his mouth is cute now but not so much in a few months), better sleeping - although his bladder really needs to get bigger and start to learn to be left alone.  He is happy with his crate, as long as we are near by, it is not in the car and it is not dark (okay we have a ways to go on crate training) but that is where he will hang in the beginning when we leave- too many risks around the house- he nearly committed suicide playing with the iron, loves any and all cords, small anything (yummy)...we hope to avoid a $5000 vet surgery in the near future, well actually ever.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mako or Ironman....

We have been talking about getting a puppy for years.....but only talking.  See we rescued 2 wonderful labs- Rocky (RIP) and Zen now 8. Both are wonderful dogs but were troubled, abused, left and inherently wonderful dogs.  In fact I'm not sure there will ever be another Rocky to me.   I when we lost Rocky we vowed no more dogs, enjoy Zen, live it up etc.

Okay well the adorable picture sort of gives the story away..... I have never had a puppy, Okay, not never, but I was 8, so not really.  Face it when a beautiful purebred Labrador ends up at lab rescue it is not because he is a stellar dog... at least not at the time.  So we rescued, reformed and have had 2 wonderful dogs.  But I decided that the next time, I was starting from scratch, or close to it. And that my friends means a puppy,

Timing is possible way can we have a puppy during IM training- cannot leave the house for ore than  a few hours in the beginning,  Light bulb goes off- coach has been after me for 3 years now to take a proper off-season.  Stop training, gain weight, get out of shape....I always promise to do so and am good on that for a few weeks and then out hammering again. So really, does it take a puppy for keep me at bay?  shamefully, maybe.  Hey better than a baby (at least for me)

So once the idea culminated the discussion was what kind....I really wanted another black lab (just like Rocky) but wanted to get one from a breeder.  Okay, I know, why buy a dog when so many are homeless and need a home...blah, blah, blahs- start reading at the top- I rescued 2 dogs! And one was  train wreck....was rejected by 2 others and we saved good ol Zen. So yes, now I am selfish.  After all this dog will be left when my kids go to college -  My other selfish reason for going through a breeder is that  I want a good running dog so I need to know the genealogy.  Rocky was a great runner, logged some 18 mile runs. Zen not so much...more of a miler kind of a dog.  I want a companion in the trails.

Okay so back to the black lab....seems a "real" black lab is the English Lab  - those are the ones breeders breed, well I like the American Lab- less boxy, smaller frame and cuter (IMHO) so I was stuck....cannot find a real breeder of an American Black Lab... so I resorted to Runners World for best running dogs. Germain Short hair Pointer or Vizsla.  I looked at GSP and well...they just don't do it for me- no attraction.  But the they are cute!  and rare and expensive.... classic Julie for you.

So we found our breeder based on timing...I want the pup 1 week post Kona if possible....and magically, Mako was born  8 weeks ago and ready (well sort of ) to come home this weekend.

Big family trip to Alpine to pick our baby... you get to pick your pup in the order you made your deposit. Of the 14 puppies (yes 14) there were 11 boys and we were # 9, we laughed that the fat one, the run and lame one would be left.  We were close, but big one (who was adorable but a slug- although now I'm thinking that would have been a good thinking) the Runt (Mako) and one in the middle that was wickedly wild...more than Monster (I mean Mako)

He slept like a baby in the car and it has been a massive introduction in our house....where are is 13 bothers and sisters and his Mama?  Zen pretty much ignores him except when he is eating...this runt can eat and eat.   So we are potty training- at 8 weeks they can old it 30 min to 2 hours... that is a lot of running outside with him. 

He is a bundle of energy and then passes out..... into everything and we have to watch him like  a hawk.  We take him out to pee and he comes in and if you take your eyes off him..he is in the corner going. No poops inside...he does a crazy dance and we have gotten him out each time.

So maybe 4 hours of sleep last night, lots of up and and down the stairs....we are crate training him so no papers to pee on at night.  Training.....hardly.... he is going to be my off season!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Random thoughst on Kona

  • Love the Island, love the town, love Ironman ....need to find a way to love the Ironman in Kona
  • Kona Coffee is the best especially Coffees of Hawaii
  • Swim up  coffee bar is a highlight of the week   (well maybe 2nd to running down Alii at the finish)
  • I am so thankful for all the friends I have met in this amazing to see them all in Kona!
  • More sunscreen next time!  My back is molting right now
  • Wish I had not donated my orthotic to the Island Gods
  • Nutrition plan?  Taking suggestions on one that keeps my fluids in my body!
  • Blister prevention- actually I have all the aids but used none of them- why?  I'm stupid sometimes
  • Kona is HOT!
  • Euro's shopping in speedo's is funny
  • TYR;s new Special Ops Goggles ROCK!! Polarized, NO Goggle marks and they are the best...available in 2012 - look for them
  • Half Ass Donkey Balls (frosted) are as good as sex
  • 4 Ironman Athletes, 2 athletes not racing but riding and 2 teenagers can eat and drink ALOT in a week!
  • Ron Tribendous's wife is a saint.... 8 3/4 months pregnant and she wanted Ron to come and race in Kona- she deserves an easy birth with this kid
  • There are some really fast people in Kona
  • There are a lot of really nice people in Kona and a few not so nice
  • Less wind means it is much hotter! 
  • Craig Alexander is a good guy!
  • Mike Reilly's induction into Ironman Hall of Fame at the Awards Ceremony was awesome
  • The swim in Kona is the toughest of any Ironman
  • Doing Vegas 70.3 and Kona is not a good idea (for me anyway)
  • Seeing the pro's in front is inspirational but seeing the ones in the back suffering and gutting it out is also inspirational -they have bad days too
  • For $600+ to race I want MORE Porta Potties....have to wait in line is just not fair- Garmin says 6+ minutes in idle time :)
  • Biestmilch wins the award for viral marketing....create the demand, give out swim caps and very cool t-shirts. How many people really know they are pimping "colostrum or the foremilk, this quintessentially natural substance, which is produced by the mammary glands of all female mammals "  Have not tried it but love my shirt
  • World Bicycle Relief is a cool org.....and brilliant with the marketing- nice pink and green t-shirts with the number 89,707.  What does that mean, everyone asks? # of bikes given away to date
  • Can everyone come to Kona 10lbs heaveir next year vs leaner and faster?  Just asking

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ironman World Championships

This is a long one…. Amazing what a 5+ hour flight allows for

Kona is a special place….it is a competing of the best in the World and I am truly humbled and grateful to line up toe to toe with so many amazing athletes.  This was our 3rd year in Kona and by far the best trip.  Having the entire family was both memorable and great fun!  Staying with great friends who were also racing really adds to the excitement and builds the energy for the big day.  Our house was a few miles from the start but not down Alii which is where all the activity is, it was up ( and I mean up – as in Torrey Pines x2 up)  a hill in a very quiet neighborhood.   At first I was disappointed we were so isolated but in the end we really enjoyed it.   A house full of athletes meant we were in bed by 8 and often up by 5am…never really adjusting to the time zone- which was intentional for race day. 
We cooked in most nights, big family cooking, had a bbq with other friends one night, went to a terrific dinner hosted by Zoot and then pre-race we ate our own pre-race meals…..

The real fun of staying with other athletes is when the alarm goes off at 3am and you are not the only one getting up! The coffee was prepped and that was the first thing to get going.  Next stocking piling calories- most of us had to get down around 1200 calories by 4am, mind you we had eaten a large dinner at 6pm the night before.  So eating was not really what we wanted to do.  For me- Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancakes – one giant pancake (i.e. 700 calories) slathered with almond butter, banana and honey.   Chased that with lots of coffee, PowerAde and we were ready to roll at 4:30.
Housmates ready to race!
We have a secret parking spot so there is not race day stress of where park…and we were in transition by 4:50.  It is very dark and the energy is low….bright flood lights as you enter body marking and it is very organized- no random sharpie on your arm.  You had a station with your range of numbers and they use stamps. Team of 2 with the block letters.  Dropped off our special needs bags (this is extra food, drinks etc. you drop in bins and they will be given to you ½ through the bike and run) and onto the pier where the bikes are.  I reconnected with Ron and we put our bottles on the bikes, checked computers, pumped up tires, last final prep.  The energy is lifting now for sure…still dark and we see Jen and Chuck.

At this point we are ready and decide to chill out and sit down…. It starts getting surreal at this point.   As you start to realize what is ahead- a long day and the butterflies are active.   Here is where I started to worry a bit- this was my first year not doing another Ironman early in the season- someone that started to give me doubts…I squashed those soon.
Michelle land friend

It seemed like minutes passed and we were suited up and heading to the water… so here is the big dilemma- where to start- center (this is where I usually start in an IM but too chicken in Kona), near the pier or left of the car (yes floating car)…. I ended up starting pier side.   We are treading water, hula dancers on the rocks and the drums are playing- an absolute surreal place to be.  1800 athletes in the water and 1000’s of people spectating.  This is it! 

Chatoic swim start
Cannon goes off. And holy hell breaks loose.  Kicking, fighting and absolute chaos toward buoy.  In most races this eases up with 500 yards but in Kona it is a dog fight for nearly a mile…. I was pulled under once, gulped a lot of water, swam over many times and had a tough time getting a rhythm.  I finally settled in and it is a long swim. But sure enough pretty soon you start to hear the announcer and see the pier and start mentally transitioning for the bike!

Up the ramp and onto the pier- very dizzy standing up after swimming hard for an hour.  In and out of transition and onto the bike. Riding out of the bike the streets are lined and people are screaming….Lots of shouts of my name and support for Nytro.  10 miles of an out and back and then through town and before too long you are on the Queen K and it gets quiet and the race really begins.  Ride was fine out to Kawaihi – around mile 40 is usually a low point for me, I have been riding 2 hours, not working really hard but am feeling like I have been out there and I realize  I still have 70 miles to go…a long way!
Kona is a special place but the ride is not so special
Lava, lava, lava

Winds are not bad at all, eating and drinking- left at Kawaihi and up to Havi- 18 mile climb and our first headwind of the day.  Slow climb and long haul…finally Havi, special needs and downhill – seems the descent from Havi goes by in 20 minutes…. So fast and then back towards Kawaihi.  I am sticking to my power guidelines but getting passed by everyone….. I stick with my race, but still a bit demoralizing.   I am feeling good at this point and pick it up a bit.  The last 30 miles is straight on the Queen K in a headwind and as far as you can see are cyclists……it is a long haul and where it gets uncomfortable- back and neck are aching from being aero so long, legs are fatiguing and rear end is ready to get off the bike! 

Airport is a good sign. 7 miles to go. Energy Lab…. 6 miles to go and now I can see the pro men running out on the marathon- I try not to think about the fact they are on mile 10+ of the run and I am still on my bike.  Riding into  T2 is great….packed with people and lots of energy.  I feel pretty good….off my bike and my legs are definitely more rubbery that I would like- bit worried.  Long run to T2 and I am not in a hurry….

Sitting in T2, deep breaths, mentally preparing for the marathon. And out I go…see the kids – nice to see their happy faces- Mile 1 is tough…. I am a bit worried here.  The first 10 miles of the run are awesome- down Alii with crowds and you get to see everyone.  By mile 3 I am feeling better and am not so worried.   Focused on my HR and pace and settling in for the run.  At mile 10 you run up a steep hill and out onto the Queen K- it is hot and lonely and this is where my race fell apart last year.  I am feeling okay, but I have made 2 porta potties stops (not so pretty but I am thinking I must be empty) I take 3 Imodium and hope for the best.  5 stops in total but after mile 17 no more….so while it was dehydrating and depleting it did stop thankfully.   Approaching the Energy Lab is where I really slowed down, my feet were blistering, and my tending throbbing and I am not having fun. Down 1.5 miles where there are no crowds…. Into special needs and I sit down, pull off both shoes and socks and lather my feet in aquaporin.  My biggest blister is forming under my orthotic so I rationally throw it out as on offering to the Hawaiian Gods.  I am back on my feet and trudging along…..  This is my low, low point…… I see a lot of friends and they are all so positive. I exit the lab near tears and John is there with so much encouragement and Kevin is there soon after.

I walk a bit and KP tells me to suck it up and dig….. ugh!  I rally for a few miles and pick up the pace but soon slow again but I kept running one mile at a time counting my steps to 100 and starting over.  Forcing glucose tabs and coke to keep it going. 

Finally I crest the final hill and head down Pilani…1 mile to go.   And you can hear the crowd, feel the energy and this is when the emotion hits….. Running down Allii with 1000’s of people screaming at the top of their lungs is really surreal.    Next I here Mike Reilly says “we are approaching 11 hours; let’s get these athletes in…”  Okay final sprint to break 11! 

Thank goodness…… I am done and even when the race is not a PR or my best……it is so tremendously rewarding to be done! 

Nutrition plan
·        Pre-Race: 1200 calorie pancake, almond butter and banana +3 cups coffee, 22 oz. PowerAde Zero
·        Bike- 1400 calories – all power bars
o   Guzzling water and drenching at ever aid station- great for cooling down body, not so great for sunscreen- I am fried!
·        Run- PowerAde ever mile until diarrhea started and switched to coke and glucose tabs, even ate a few pretzels….

Final thoughts…PR in Kona (but was also less windy this year), not an IM PR
·        Swim- decent- but want to be swimming 58
·        Bike- happy with bike split
·        Run….HELP ME!!!!!  Seriously 30 minutes slow…… need to STOP dying out there in the Queen K and NOT spend 6+ minutes in Porta Potties – WTC seriously, you need MORE Port Potties- 1 o 2 with that many athletes in need…come-on we paid $600 – more potties please!

Thanks to my adoring family!!!  JD and Riley were all over the course on mopeds, made signs for all of us, wrote our names in chalk near the Energy Lab, John rode many miles and said all the right thingsJ, KP for making me suck it up and get out the shovel to dig deep and of course NYTRO for all your support this year, Brand Betty for making us look so cool and Zoot for letting us in your Tribe!   And thanks to everyone who called my name and said “you look strong” even when I was hardly moving and possibly crying.  I do love this sport and all the great people!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Let's Get it Done

Really it is happening!! Today is the day.... #3 Ironman World Championship race for me.  Less nervous than the last 2 times and feeling pretty good!  It has been an amazing week + with the family and many moments of feeling like I was merely on vacation with intermittent oh sh#t I have an Ironman to do.   We are staying with a great group of friends so I have had great company on the taper week workouts and plenty of company at 3am eating and drinking before the race.

Hoping for a great day but looking for a fun day!! 

Friday, September 30, 2011


Wow 2 days of fun on Oahu....come and gone!  Just took a quick nap in order to ensure I am awake to pick up John and the kids at 9:30.

Arrived late Wednesday and checked into a sensational suite - holy cow- check out the living room
and there is a master bedroom and another room with 2 beds.  I could get lost in here alone....thank you for the generous room Kelly Sanders, General Manager at the Sheraton Waikiki (my old boss)  And thank you for the nice amenity....I was starving after the huge meal zero food that was served on my 5+hour flight and was too tired to stop along the way.  Nothing like a cold glass of Sterling Chardonnay, smoked Gouda and fruit and the entire box, 2 small chocolate covered Macadamia Nuts I devoured nibbled on.

Crashed in bed and was up early....gotta love the time change.  Got some work done and was off to Kaimea Beach to meet Michelle Simmons We met at the popular open water swimming spot near Waikiki.   We swam to the windsock and then hung a right and swam for 15 minutes, hardly moving mind you.  We paused and chatted a bit and then swam back the same distance in 6 minutes-can you say current.  Then as we followed the pipes back to shore it was a sensation of a washing machine - pushed out pulled in.... but the water was stellar- crystal clear and warm!  I would swim open water living here that is for sure!!

After the swim I had an ez run and hit the road heading toward Diamond Head.  So nice to be in a different environment and exploring new territory!  

Workouts done and I showered and changed. I had  busy afternoon- was looking at 2 hotels for my HPN clients and then calling on 2 bike shops for ZocaGear  The sites are no brainers...the sales calls were a learning experience.  My first call was nothing short of a disaster... Couple a really sophisticated buyer with the first time I am showing my samples- they were totally disorganized, falling all over, I could not find what I needed as he was asking me what type of thread we use.... He was asking questions that I am sure were not in my training materials, not that I could find those either.... after all that he tells me is will not longer be the buyer come November- what....actually for me, probably a blessing.  I gathered my gear, put my tail between my legs and departed.  Okay I had 30 minutes before my next call.  1- went to Von's and bought freezer bags for each kit!  done 2- Starbucks for a lot of caffeine and sugar.  3- reviewed all my materials.

And the 2nd call was awesome...I was there for over an hour, he is VERY interested and it went well!  Okay, I can do this.  The only issue is my eyes have taken a dive since last week.... seems turning 45 is the magic year for me needing reading glasses. I pulled out our pricing list and it was like, really?   What is this font 6?  I was trying to read it and had to sort of he has on reading glasses and asks if I want to borrow them.  I used to bond with my customers drinking beers now we share reading glasses.

Off to my final hotel and it was a full day....time to sit outside overlooking the ocean and enjoy seared ahi and a nice glass of wine! I keep thinking maybe I should skip the wine, well with Ironman now 8 days away.... maybe when I am a week out??   Anyway a smashing day!

Up early today 4am....had some work to do and was sort of awake anyway- really 7am in CA.   Drove the Windward side of the Island, after stopping at Peets in the lobby!  Really- Peet's coffee in the lobby at the Sheraton Waikiki!

.  Met Michelle and Nalini at their pool...okay this pool is nuts.  You show up at 6:55 and people are waiting- no fee to get in for a 50 meter long course pool!  But wait there are no lane lines- right on. You don't get  lane per se you get the black line or to the right or left of it- so you have 16+- people swimming long course no lane lines and no clock. Really?  So we warm up 1000- all is fine...see I don't like swimming with a clock anyway, especially this close to a race- just don't want to know- if I feel good than great! If not, don't want to see the time.  So after warm up we have a set of 12x200 descend in 2's through 6/100 ez and repeat.  First set is okay...but by #6  I am not feeling the 2nd set, Nalani was miles ahead and Michelle mile ahead.  Was tough for me and not what I wanted to did I fight and hang on, no I slowed down about 20 seconds per 200 and finished.  Any fighting I have will be saved for October 8!

After swim we went to Michelle's and she graciously offered up her old TT bike- forgot my pedal wrench so she again graciously offered me her pedals and her shoes and her socks..... Since I had her shoes she was not riding with me.  She sent me North- ride until you feel like  turning around.  Sounds computer on the bike - good for me- no data.  So Michelle has Speedplay pedals  and I ride Look.  I have always wanted to try Speedplay (maybe not the week before a race, but well....anyway)  As I am riding off Michelle says the first time she rode Speedplayaero for fear of falling off.... had a tough time settling in, riding with ice skates, different bike etc and nearly turned around.  And then it clicked and I was feeling the Island charm.... I was loving the mountains, the ocean and the peaceful ride.  Before I knee it I was well past the 1 hour mark...oops- turned around and enjoyed the spectacular scenery home!

I rolled in and Michelle was just about to wonder what happened...oops I forgot I have an Ironman in 8 days!  Loved it.... Funny I walked in her house like we are long lost friends...sort of funny we met via blog land and only one time, last year in Kona, but someone clicked and it has been great hanging on her turf these past few days!  I hope she will come to San Diego sometime so I can return the hospitality!

Such fun...and I feel great, except for the disastrous swim! Legs are what really matters here!

Few more sales calls today...few more lessons- note to self- be sure to ask if they sell more than Mountain and BMX bikes...."so our one piece tri suits are not ideal for your BMX customer?  "  Another lesson...long sleeve jerseys and arm warmers not a big seller in Hawaii!  It's all good...I'm learning along the way.

So now I am enjoying the view from my paradise